Whether you are thinking of launching a new site or own a new site, you might have heard about Search Engine Optimization(SEO). SEO is the most effective and easy way to boost your site traffic. It increases your site’s visibility and authenticity that helps you to get more visitors and to build several reliable audiences.
If you have less knowledge about SEO, don’t fright. As WordPress is SEO friendly you are already a step ahead. And its SEO friendliness is one of the many reasons why people like to choose WordPress for web designing. You don’t have to be a tech genius to optimize SEO. There are plenty of simple and beginner-friendly ways to makes it easy for search engines to find your website. Let’s have a look at some easy ways to optimize SEO for your site.
Check Search Engine Visibility of Your Site:
WordPress has a built-in option to hide your site from search engines as you can work on your website before it’s ready to go to the live server. If you are not seeing your rankings improve, maybe the Search engine visibility of your site is turned off.
To find out if the option is checked/unchecked, log in to the admin of your site and go to the Settings > Reading page. Scroll down and you will get the Search engine visibility section, uncheck the box next to Discourage search engines from indexing this site if it’s checked. Don’t forget to save the change.
Choose Descriptive Permalink structures:
Your permalink structure has a big impact on SEO. Permalink means permanent link, that points to your site’s individuality. It’s important to select the right structure when you initially setting up your website. Descriptive links give a sense of what the page is about, which makes it easier for search engines to boost your site ranking. Following URL structures are the most SEO-friendly because they are readable and users can guess what they will see on the page just by looking at the URL text.
For setting these structures, go to Settings > Permalinks. You will see the WordPress provided several permalink structure options there. Choose the Post Name option for example no.1 and for example no.2 choose the Custom Structure option.
But any changes of permalink structure on an established site will cause you to lose your social share counts on the pages. But if the change is necessary then hire a professional so they can set up proper redirects. Or else you will run the risk of losing your existing SEO ranking also.
Create and Submit XML Sitemaps:
A sitemap or “site map” is a hierarchy or quick way to show how your site is laid out and what it includes. The purpose of a sitemap is to share data with search engine bots. It allows you to report the data that you want to crawl by the search engines. It also helps users to navigate websites. By having a link to your sitemap on all your site’s pages, both visitors and search engines will easily get to it and find all your posts.
To know how to create an XML sitemap you can check this article. You will get a complete guide, how to create and submit a sitemap there. Click here to check.
Use Internal and External Links:
Using internal and external links is the easiest way to achieving the best SEO results. Search engines prefer sites that are well connected, both internally and to other sites. Internal and external link connections work as a virtual map of related posts on your site and make navigation easier for both users and crawl. Internal links set up a network of pages, which points your users to related content and help to raise your page views, direct visitors towards more of your top-notch content, increases the time users spend on your site, and ultimately improve the SEO score of your posts and pages. Besides that, it helps your old posts to get more traffic. It works similarly for external links also. That’s why you should interlink posts whenever possible.
Install The Best WordPress SEO Plugin:
Plugins are small pieces of software that add new features and functionality to the WordPress site. WordPress developers have created plugins for pretty much everything so there are many plugins designed specifically to improve your site’s SEO also. Let’s see how plugins help to boost your site ranking.
- They automatically generate an XML sitemap for all your website content which makes it easier to crawl your website for search engines.
- Verify your site in Webmaster Tools.
- Exclude certain types of content from being indexed in search engine results.
- Adds a Meta SEO box to all posts and pages. Here, you can set custom title tags, Meta descriptions, Open Graph Tags, canonicals, and meta robots tags.
- Edit your robots.txt file via a user-friendly interface.
- Edit your .htaccess file without FTP.
- Block bots that include referral spam.
- Add site links search box markup.
- Can help you win jump links in the SERP, which may increase your CTR.
- Also adds a table of contents to your posts and pages to make them easier to navigate.
Most of the plugins work almost similarly. If you are searching for the best WordPress SEO plugins, you will get articles that feature dozens of tools on search engines. Though this can be quite overwhelming for you but trust me you don’t need dozens of SEO tools to get higher search rankings. You need to understand the use-cases of each tool. You need to pick only one to avoid plugin conflict. We will suggest Yoast SEO, All in One SEO Pack, Rank Math, and SEOPress plugins. Can help turn your site into an SEO powerhouse.
As soon as you install one, you should enable the rel = ”canonical” tag for pages on your blog. It helps search engines to determine the source URLs of content on your blog. That way, it helps eliminate duplicate content issues from WordPress sites.
You can also check the Top 7 Best WordPress Caching Plugins For Better Performance . It will help you to improve your site performance and your SEO rank.
Keywords are short phrases that describe your content’s topic and help search engines to identify your site when someone searches for something relevant to those topics. Choose a keyword for each post or page and use it on the title, the headings, and the content itself. By doing this, your topic can communicate to search engine crawlers and increase the chances of showing your content in relevant searches. There are a lot of tools out there to helping you in keyword research. But try to avoid using your keyword in too many places, it may appear spam. They have great keyword research tools, the ability to track site rankings over time, powerful backlink analysis, and also can analyze your website for SEO issues.
Choose SEO-friendly Theme:
The theme takes care of the visual representation of the WordPress site’s content and data, can provide new functionality, and also plays a role in SEO. An SEO-friendly theme can boost your site speed which helps to optimize SEO. That’s the reason an SEO friendly theme has to be responsive and lightweight. Avoid themes bloated with third-party plugins and scripts. Instead of speeding up, it will slow down your site which may decrease your site ranking. You can check the theme’s description to know if it is SEO friendly or not. But it’s better to run the live demo before installing.
You can check our article Things You Should Keep on Your Mind Before Choosing a Theme for Your WordPress Site, to choose the best theme for your site.
Optimize Your Site for Mobile:
According to Google, there are 3.5 billion mobile phone users around the world. Which is 44.87% of the world’s total population. That means if you are not optimizing your site for mobile, you are not reaching the majority of web users. And that will cause a major decrement in your site ranking. So it’s a necessity to check if your site is mobile responsive or not. You can turn your site into a mobile responsive site only by choosing a mobile-friendly theme.
Optimize WordPress Comments:
Comments play a vital role in engaging more audience to your site. The more audience means the more traffic and more traffic is the way to boost SEO.
However, you need to make sure that your comments are real and not spam. Spammers submit comments with bad links which affects your search rankings. You can use plugins like Akismet to help you combat comment spam, it comes pre-installed with every WordPress site.
Focus on Quality Content:
The goal of every search engine is to help the most relevant and useful sites score highly. Search engines prefer quality content, which satisfies audiences the most. To maintain the quality of content you have to keep the following things in mind:
- Keep essential information that your audiences are searching for.
- Keep your content authoritative.
- Present your content in a well-structured and accessible manner.
- Keep up-to-date.
- Keep well-written content.
- Use links to related posts from your site.
- Try to add reliable references to your content.
- Try to keep your posts longer (Don’t put unnecessary words to make your post longer).
You can use the Yoast SEO plugin to test your content quality. It provides a readability score of your content, by checking transition words, sentence beginnings, sentence length, passive voice, and more. That helps you to improve your content quality.
Optimize Categories and Tags:
We all know WordPress provides the feature to create categories and tags to sort your blog posts. Categories add hierarchy to content and group topics broadly. It can be also called a table of content. On the other side, tags are more specific keywords that describe the contents of an individual post. They help to understand your site structure and make it easy to browse your website for search engines and users.
You don’t have to be a tech genius to apply these techniques on your site. Though these techniques won’t guarantee high search engine rankings, they’ll improve your chances of SEO success. However, there are plenty of techniques, to increase your site ranking, we will share those techniques with you in the future.